Monday, May 14, 2007

Daf Yomi - Yevamos 9 - SHAMING A STUDENT

Levi asked of Rebbe: Why did the Mishna list only fifteen cases of women who exempt themselves and their co-wives from yibum and chalitzah; the Mishna should have listed sixteen? Rebbe said: It would seem to me that he doesn’t have any brains in his head.

The commentators ask: How could Rebbe talk to Levi in such a demeaning way? Doesn’t it say in Koheles [9:17]: The words of the wise are heard when spoken softly, more than the shout of a ruler of fools? The Mishna in Pirkei Avos [2:10] says: Rabbi Eliezer said: Let the honor of your fellow be as precious to you as your own. Why did Rebbe degrade Levi in such a manner?

The Chavos Yair (152) answers: Levi was the student of Rebbe and since Rebbe understood that Levi was a tremendous Torah scholar, it wasn’t possible for him to err unless he did not thoroughly examine the matter prior to his question. Rebbe did not talk this way out of anger or haughtiness; as a matter of fact, the Gemora in Sotah (49a) states that when Rebbe died, humbleness was lost. Rebbe was instructing his student Levi that one must always scrutinize all relative material on any subject before openly discussing it.

This is the source for the following Rambam in Hilchos Talmud Torah (4:5) and cited in Shulchan Aruch (Y”D 246:11) as well ( The student should not be embarrassed because his peers grasped [the lesson] after one or two times and he learned it only after many times. If he is embarrassed from this matter, he will end up coming in and going out of the Beit Midrash without learning anything. Therefore, the early sages said: "The shy one does not learn and the short-tempered one cannot teach" (Avot 2:5). When does this apply? If they didn't understand because of the depth of the Halakha or their limited abilities. However, if it became apparent to the teacher that they were not applying themselves to the words of Torah and were being lax about them - and therefore, they did not understand - , he is obligated to become angry with them and to shame them with words in order to sharpen them. In this context, the sages said: "Cast fear into the students." (BT Ketubot 103b).


ben said...

see anything as to why he used the expression nikkar shein lioso ish moach bikadkado?